Thoroughly Modern Millie is one of those classic American musicals which always seems to be on television over the Christmas holidays.
It immediately conjures up images of the inimitable Julie Andrews and her cut glass English accent drifting melodically through your sitting room and yes, she really is a hard act to follow.
But LAMP have given it an exceptional shot and I’m unashamed to admit I felt a strong urge to dig out a pair of tap shoes and throw on a flapper costume after this performance at Linlithgow Academy!
Roaring unashamedly into the 20s with fabulous style and glamour, this unique production began with an energetic and heartfelt opening number from the talented actress and choreographer Amanda-Louise Clark as Millie and was quickly followed by the Thoroughly Modern Millie song from the title.
This particular song was choreographed in a way that brought the mood of the time instantly to life. Millie’s excitement as she sets out on her voyage of self discovery meeting new people in a new, slightly edgy, city is palpable and Amanda-Louise Clark keeps that enthusiasm throughout.
Comedy moments are never far away in this production and the wonderful part of Mrs Meers, the owner of Hotel Priscilla where Millie lodges, was played to great comic effect by Carol Fraser who managed to switch accents with impressive expertise while simultaneously tweaking her character from sugar sweet sympathy to mean landlady in the blink of an eye.
Her unwilling accomplices, Ching Ho (Sandy Queenan) and Bun Foo (Les Fulton) supported her by displaying lovely moments of farce as they wrestled with the language barrier and the power Mrs Meers wielded over them.
Vocally, this is a challenging piece for any group to work on but all cast members stepped up to the plate and many interesting voices shone through. Miss Dorothy’s high, slightly operatic vocal, Muzzy Van Hossmere’s jazzy, mellow tones and Jimmy Smith’s duet with Millie all stayed with me.
Thoroughly Modern Millie runs until tomorrow (Saturday), and tickets are £10/£7.